Not just Ken: Slash, Wolfgang Van Halen and Mark Ronson join Ryan Gosling as he delivers a showstopping performance of his Barbie anthem at the Oscars

I'm Just Ken Oscars
(Image credit: Getty Images)

It was perhaps the most eagerly awaited moment of the 2024 Academy Awards ceremony, and it did not disappoint. As rumoured, Barbie’s Ryan Gosling did indeed take to the stage with 65 of his fictional namesakes to perform I’m Just Ken, the hit song from director Greta Gerwig’s behemoth blockbuster, and when he did it, he brought Slash, Mark Ronson and Wolfgang Van Halen along for the ride.

Beginning his performance in the audience - and with fellow Team Barbie alumni Margot Robbie and Billie Eilish struggling to contain their laughter - Gosling quickly made for the stage and ran into Ronson, who was playing bass, and we got a glimpse of Andrew Wyatt on piano, too (Ronson and Wyatt are the song's two writers). Gosling then joined his Ken brethren, which included his Barbie co-stars Simu Liu, Kingsley Ben-Adir and Ncuti Gatwa, for his carefully choreographed turn.

There was another surprise in store for the finale, as Gosling was joined by none other than Guns N’ Roses’ Slash, who was on hand to bust out one of his trademark guitar solos, before he headed back to the front row of the audience to share the mic with America Ferrera, Greta Gerwig, Margot Robbie and Emma Stone, who sang lines from I’m Just Ken back to him.

Eagle-eyed viewers will also have spotted Wolfgang Van Halen, who played rhythm guitar on the I’m Just Ken recording, and reprised his role here.

As a spectacle, the whole thing was genuinely impressive, but it wasn’t enough to secure the coveted Best Original Song Oscar. That went to Billie Eilish and Finneas for What Was I Made For?, another, far more restrained piece of the Barbie soundtrack puzzle, which was also performed at the ceremony.

This is the sister-brother duo’s second Oscar, their first coming for No Time To Die, taken from the Bond movie of the same name.

Ben Rogerson
Deputy Editor

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it.